Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Shows Genetic Link For Schizophrenia

Date:
February 20, 2007
Source:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Summary:
Gene mutations governing a key brain enzyme make people susceptible to schizophrenia and may be targeted in future treatments for the psychiatric illness, according to MIT and Japanese researchers.

Gene mutations governing a key brain enzyme make people susceptible to schizophrenia and may be targeted in future treatments for the psychiatric illness, according to MIT and Japanese researchers.

Related Articles


The work, by scientists from MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and Japan's RIKEN Brain Science Institute, will be reported in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Feb. 20.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, an estimated 51 million people worldwide suffer from schizophrenia. Although 80 percent of schizophrenia cases appear to be inherited, the specific genetic components underlying individuals' susceptibility and pathology are largely unknown.

By studying genetically engineered mice and the genetic makeup of schizophrenic individuals, the MIT and Japanese scientists pinpointed the PPP3CC gene and other genes in the early growth response (EGR) gene family (specifically, EGR3) as likely suspects for causing the disease.

These genes are critical in the signaling pathway for the brain enzyme calcineurin. Calcineurin is prevalent in the central nervous system, where it plays a role in many neuronal functions whose disturbances would play into the disorganized thinking, attention deficits, memory and language problems that characterize schizophrenia.

The researchers confirmed that the PPP3CC gene is involved in diagnosed schizophrenia in Caucasian, African-American and Japanese individuals. EGR3 involvement was confirmed through a separate test.

"These data suggest that the brain signals governed by calcineurin stand at a convergent point of the molecular disease pathology of schizophrenia, and the involvement of the EGR genes reinforces this," said co-author Takeo Yoshikawa of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute. This knowledge could lead to new schizophrenia therapeutics targeting the calcineurin system, he said.

"This study provides genetic and biological evidence that PPP3CC and EGR3, both constituents of the calcineurin signaling pathway, may independently elicit increased risk for schizophrenia," said co-author Susumu Tonegawa, Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at MIT. "These findings raised a novel and potentially important role for EGR genes in schizophrenia pathogenesis."

In addition to Yoshikawa and Tonegawa, authors are Kazuo Yamada, Yoshimi Iwayama, Tetsuo Ohnishi, Hisako Ohba, Tomoko Toyota and Jun Aruga of RIKEN Brain Sciences Institute; David J. Gerber of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the RIKEN-MIT Neuroscience Research Center; and Yoshio Minabe of Kanazawa University School of Medicine in Japan.

This work is supported by the RIKEN Brain Science Institute and other agencies and institutes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Study Shows Genetic Link For Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070220020837.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2007, February 20). Study Shows Genetic Link For Schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070220020837.htm
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Study Shows Genetic Link For Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070220020837.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins